Bread, glorious bread! I dunno about you guys, but this lockdown has me craving Carbs with a capital C. Also, I kinda feel like they are keeping me sane. 😆 Enter one of my personal superhero recipes, Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread, which comes via New York Times Cooking. Beyond delicious, with a firm, crispy crust and a delightfully chewy middle, this is a bread lover’s dream.
An extra bonus to this recipe, especially at this current moment in time, is that this never takes more than five minutes at a time of your time. So while there are a few steps before you can put the bread in the oven (full disclosure: there is a 12-20 hour rising time), don’t let it put you off. Tomorrow at this same time you could be having a slice of homemade bread!
One 1 1/2-pound loaf
1 hour 30 minutes, plus about 20 hours' resting time
3 cups (360 g) all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed
In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Recipe by Jim Lahey via New York Times Cooking